Low-pile carpets are popular in office buildings while higher-pile carpets are more popular in residences. This is because people are more likely to sit on the carpet and walk bare-footed or in house slippers at home and the plushness of the carpet feels more comfortable and luxurious.
Most carpets installed wall-to-wall at home are of the medium-pile variety. Shag carpets are popular high-pile carpets but they are usually used as area rugs than installed throughout the home. For example, shag carpets are not ideal for the dining room and home office for it’d be hard to move chairs around these high-pile carpets. You can also throw out the conventional wisdom that upright vacuum cleaners are better for carpet when it comes to shag carpets.
These high-pile carpets create unique challenges to vacuum cleaners. The suction head or attachment would have to reach deep into the carpet without getting clogged by the high pile. This would require specialized suction head designs in concert with an optimum suction power for shag carpet (which would not be the highest brute-force suction power).
Here are the best vacuum cleaners for shag carpets:
One of our favorite vacuums for shag carpet is the Soniclean SFC-7000. As part of the Soniclean Soft Carpet-series, the SFC-7000 is an upright vacuum equipped with extra-large wheels with which to navigate on soft, thick carpets like shag carpet.
Soniclean’s direct-air paramagnetic motor is lightweight yet powerful, which is part of the reason why this upright vacuum weighs only 10.5 pounds. Everything is designed with soft carpet in mind. The bristles are made of soft nylon that’s both effective and gentle on shag carpet. The power suction and the sonic bar featured in the patented Sonic Cleaning Technology create 200 sonic vibrations per second to dislodge deep-set dirt particles.
Soniclean’s jam protection technology prevents this powerful vacuum from ripping up even the highest-pile shag carpet. The company is so proud of this that it offers a lifetime warranty on the belt. The warranty period for the motor is a no-less-generous 5-year.
The Sonicclean SFC-7000’s adjustable vent system makes it suitable for all other floorings beside shag carpet. Simply slide the vent doors closed to convert it into an excellent vacuum for bare floor and medium-pile carpets.
This is a bagged vacuum because it’s the only way to have the most non-allergenic vacuum cleaner. Soniclean’s Seal-Tech HEPA filter bags filter 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This vacuum cleaner has provision for plugging in a Sonicfresh fragrance pod to freshen carpet as you vacuum.
Navigator Lift-Away Pro
While the Shark Navigator Pro is not a vacuum cleaner designed expressively for high-pile carpets like shag carpet, it’s so affordable and its cleaning power on shag carpet so nearly flawless that we simply must include it in the discussion.
The Shark Navigator Pro is a wildly popular vacuum cleaner for a good reason. It’s an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner at an everyday price and this upright vacuum converts readily into a canister vacuum. We recommend using it as an upright for an area shag carpet and as a canister for stair carpet.
While it’s not equipped with large wheels, the Shark Navigator Pro’s swivel steering is so sweet that the suction head glides fairly effortlessly on even the thickest shag carpet. The roller is friendly to high-pile carpets while cleaning deep into them. Pro tip: simply release the hose valve and this will sufficiently reduce the suction so that your vacuum will glide through your carpet’s long fibers like a hot knife through butter.
This vacuum cleaner is as non-allergenic as it gets for a bagless vacuum. Shark’s Complete Seal Technology and HEPA filter traps 99.9% of dust particles and allergens inside the vacuum.
For a home with shag carpet, bare floor and regular carpet (which is true of most homes with shag carpet), the Shark Navigator Pro is the only vacuum that you’ll need. The included Dust-Away hard floor attachment is as flawless on hard floor as the pet power brush is awesome on out-of-control pet hair.
The Miele Complete C3 is a canister vacuum with an oversized feature-filled canister and a massive Miele SoftCarpet suction head. This serious vacuum cleaner reminds people of Harvey Keitel’s Winston Wolfe character in Pulp Fiction. This ultimate fixer and cleaner inspires confidence from the get-go.
The large suction head is motorized to clean deep into carpets. There are 5 level settings and 7 suction power settings. It will take a bit of experimentation but you will find an optimum level and suction power combination to clean any carpet perfectly. For shag carpet, start with the SoftCarpet speed setting and go from there. This is what sets the Miele Complete C3 apart from other soft carpet vacuum cleaners. For any given carpet the Miele Complete C3 is as specialized as the other vacuums are compromisingly competent.
The motor is so silent that you will never know how powerful it is until everything gets sucked up with aplomb. This vacuum works on any floor. The Miele SEB-228 SoftCarpet electro brush is the bomb, but swap it out with the SBB-300-3 parquet twister and you’ll have an awesome vacuum for the bare floor. The other useful attachments are the dusting brush, crevice nozzle, and upholstery tool.
Miele’s AirClean filtration system and filter bag capture and retain 99.9% of dust particles and allergens. The formidable price tag of this vacuum reflects its equally formidable cleaning prowess.
All 3 best-in-class vacuum cleaners above come with extra-long power cords: 30’ for the Shark Navigator Pro, 35’ for the Soniclean SFC-7000, 22’ cord for the Miele Complete C3 with 33’ reach in all.
The Shark Navigator Pro is the best affordable vacuum for shag carpet. It’s perhaps even better for bare floor and pet hair but the point is that this is a vacuum for the whole house, including shag carpet, regular carpet, bare floor, and upholstery.
The Soniclean SFC-7000 is the best lightweight upright vacuum for shag carpet. You’ll wish all upright vacuums are as competent on shag carpet as soon as you see how well this Soniclean cleans and glides on shag carpet.
The best vacuum for shag carpet is the Miele Complete C3. Sometimes it’s possible to just throw money at a problem to solve it. The Miele Complete C3 will leave your shag carpets looking immaculate.